Ironman Leigh laps it up

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT - Shane Ni­chols

LIKE all ath­letes in the Ironman, Leigh Brown’s cam­paign was all about an am­bi­tion.

The Dou­glas lo­cal wanted to ex­pe­ri­ence the Port Dou­glas turn­around – and you only get that if you do the full Ironman (he’d done the half Ironman twice be­fore).

“You get to ex­pe­ri­ence the ride in town and the lo­cal sup­port. And that’s what hap­pened. “It was amaz­ing – peo­ple I didn’t even know, out in the street. The whole Rat­tle n Hum were yelling out and car­ry­ing on, so . . . it was amaz­ing.

“It was a spe­cial thing. I don’t know how many Port Dou­glas lo­cals were in it but for me com­ing into town, it was fan­tas­tic.”

Leigh (39) had the plea­sure of his fam­ily greet­ing him on his way through Port Dou­glas, and skil­fully, do­ing the same thing back in Cairns.

They took the ferry ride to Cairns and Leigh spot­ted them when he got back there for the run.

“I’m 6ft7 and not much of a run­ner. I’m not built for that,” he ex­plained.

“So it came to the marathon and at one stage, at the 30 km point, I had a bit of a walk, and that’s when my son saw me!

“I thought I’d bet­ter start run­ning again, and that’s what got me home.”

His race time was 12hrs 26min.

Leigh fin­ished around 45 min­utes ear­lier than he thought he would, vin­di­cat­ing all the faith that his coach, Nick Car­ling, had put in him to do the job.

“He told me I could do it,” said Leigh.

He had been train­ing six days a week since Christ­mas. “I’ve been go­ing six months with­out a beer,” he said.

“My mind­set was that if I didn’t do the work, then I was go­ing to pay on the day.” But it all paid off in fact. “To be hon­est, I just soaked it all in,” he said of the big day. “I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. It was amaz­ing.”

By Tues­day he wasn’t feel­ing so sore.

And he had al­ready de­cided, in fact he knew straight af­ter the race, he wanted to do it again.

“I’m a big be­liever in set­ting goals in your life, whether it be work or sport or what­ever,” he said.

Leigh said his Car­ling team­mates were a huge fac­tor in his en­ter­ing and com­plet­ing the Ironman – Si­mon Mul­li­gan Amanda Frazer, Holly Hop­kins, Liz O’Sul­li­van, Kraig Byrne, Jo van Ewyk and Tanille Nott.

Pic­ture: LUKAS TEASDALE

Leigh Brown’s big mo­ment — en­ter­ing his home town on the first leg of the Ironman bike race in the Ironman

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